We are in that magical time of year where sugar uniquely dominates our children’s diets. Halloween candy, Thanksgiving pie, and too many Christmas sweets to handle, means sugar is everywhere. In this season in particular, it’s important to keep in mind that some simple changes in your child’s diet can help control their ADHD symptoms. We’ve written on how diet affects ADHD, and this is clear: sugar and ADHD are definitely linked. One study from Yale, for example, shows that hyperactivity increases significantly in children who have both ADHD and high amounts of sugar in their diets.
Here are some helpful tips to keep sugar intake in check for the holidays:
Sugar and ADHD tip #1: Read the labels
Sugar comes in all shapes, sizes, and illegible words. Just because the label doesn’t list “sugar” specifically, that doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Sugar goes by many names, including some that you may not recognize as sugar immediately:
- Fruit juice concentrate
- High-fructose corn syrup
- Sorghum or sorghum syrup
Sugar and ADHD tip #2: Not all desserts are created equal
Some options exist that are delicious without involving a lot of added sugar. For example, apples and cinnamon can be a delicious post-dinner, sugar-free treat. You can also try searching online for whole 30 desserts for additional sugar-free options.
Sugar and ADHD tip #3: Minimize the candy
This sugar and ADHD trick, although simple is often incredibly difficult. Maybe the best strategy is just to keep the candy out of the house as much as possible.
Sugar and ADHD tip #4: Lead the way
As difficult as this may be, perhaps the best thing for your child to see is their parent leading the way with healthy diet choices. Cutting back on sugar can be difficult, but it’s a great way to control ADHD symptoms. Your example will make it a far easier journey for your child.
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